Top Foods That Fight Allergies
Do allergies get the best of you some days? Tired of clinching Kleenex? Ready for quick allergy relief? You’re not alone; more than half of the population battles with this troublesome ailment. Studies show that diet modifications can play a major role in improving allergy symptoms and inevitably providing relief from those pesky sniffles. Here are six foods that nutritionists highly recommend to protect you and your sniffer from nagging allergies.
- Rooibos Tea -Its high flavonoid content makes rooibos a powerful antioxidant and immune system stimulant. Research supports that it aids in alleviating symptoms from allergies, infection and cancer treatment. Does it work? Results vary, because not all bodies are equal. Most people report experiencing immediate allergy relief, others need to drink it daily for a few days before they notice any changes in allergy response. Experts recommend making it a part of your daily intake. Try it cold or hot-it’s said to be a yummy go-to lunch or dinner beverage.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids– They’re found in many varieties of seafood and considered natural anti-inflammatories that can help shrink nasal passages and keep allergy symptoms at bay. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel and sardines. They are also found in flaxseeds, flaxseed oil and walnuts. By the way, the Arthritis Foundation recommends fish over red meat for allergy sufferers because saturated fat found in red meat reportedly increases inflammatory response.
- Colorful Fruits – According to nutrition experts, the antioxidant vitamin C provides antihistamine benefits and has been known to minimize allergy symptoms. Colorful fruits are particularly rich in antioxidants, such as, oranges, kiwi, strawberries, pineapple, papaya, black currants and apples.
- Veggies– Veggies rich in color also provide antioxidants. Collard greens contain phytochemicals, specifically carotenoids which is well known for easing allergic reactions. Dandelion leaves are at the top of the list of the best sources of beta-carotene, they are also a very good source of vitamin C and a fairly good source of vitamin E. They provide a ton of allergy fighting nutrients. They taste great in salads or brewed in tea. Green bell peppers, broccoli, sweet potatoes, squash and brussels sprouts deliver a hearty dose of vitamin C and contain Quercetin, a potent nutrient that provides most veggies with color and may alleviate nasal congestion and watery eyes provoked by seasonal allergies. A recent double-blind placebo-controlled study in the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology found that people who took 100 mg of quercetin saw reduced allergy symptoms after eight weeks. Other sources of quercetin include capers, apples, onions, parsley, tea and red wine.
- Turmeric– has been widely used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries due to its well known health benefits. Studies show that contains anti-inflammatory properties which aid in its ability to prevent allergic reactions. Turmeric is a typically a common ingredient in Indian food. It’s also a tasty spice to add to meat, pasta, vegetables and rice. Keep in mind that some people with allergies may have a reaction to certain spices or find that they irritate their sensitive throat and nasal passages, so experiment cautiously.
- Kefir and Yogurt– Kefir and yogurt are dairy products that both contain probiotics, which are categorized as “friendly” bacteria that promote a healthy digestive tract. Probiotics have also been known to help reduce allergic reaction symptoms related to pollen.
“The best way to manage allergies is first and foremost to work with your doctor to get you on the best treatments out there. The sad news is there is no cure. A seasonal allergy is a genetic disease of the immune system. But even before you think about medications, it is really critical that you go into allergy season with a healthy diet,” says Mike Tringale, vice president of external affairs of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.